The purpose of this study was to explore, describe and ascertain the lived experience of adjunct clinical faculty (ACF) in nursing education. Most often adjunct faculty teaches the clinical component of nursing education and in many institutions, a growing percentage of clinical faculty are adjuncts. With the aging of current nursing faculty, predicted shortages of experienced and prepared faculty, and the increasing use of adjunct faculty, research is lacking on their experiences. The nursing profession has little information about what is and what is not helpful in preparing ACF, why they continue or do not continue, and how they view their experiences as clinical teachers.;A descriptive phenomenological approach was used within the framework of constructivism. This perspective places the emphasis on the participants and the meaning and knowledge that they build from their experiences.;Forty-five to seventy minute semi-structured interviews with nine ACF were used to gather data. Streubert's (1991) framework for qualitative analysis guided the data analysis. The questions the researcher sought to answer were: (1) Why do registered nurses (RNs) choose to become ACF? (2) How do ACF describe and make sense of their preparation for their role as a nursing educator? (3) What challenges or barriers are perceived by ACF in their role as a clinical educator? (4) What support systems are in place for ACF? (5) What knowledge, dispositions and skills do ACF bring to nursing education, from their perspective?;Ten common themes became evident as the nine ACF describe their experiences. The themes are: Question 1--recruited, desire to teach, Question 2--feeling unprepared/ill-equipped. Question 3--learning the skills of teaching, supervision and feedback, and isolation/disconnect. Question 4--mentoring, familiarity with the system/hospital. Question 5--current knowledge and skill, and the ability to bridge the theory-practice gap.;The study of the lived experience of ACF in nursing education has relevance for nurses and nursing educators. This research elucidates important information regarding the strengths and limitations of current preparation and other factors critical to the success of ACF.